2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Social Support, Trauma, and Identity: A Study of Truman Students' Mental Health


Natalie M. Mitten
Dr. Paul Shapiro, Faculty Mentor

This paper seeks to explore the myriad ways mental health can be impacted while at college; specifically, this research examines the mental health, demographic factors, and the experiences of Truman State University undergraduate students using survey data. The researcher’s hypotheses that high social support would decrease self reported depression and anxiety in respondents, and that high levels of traumatic experience would increase measured depression and anxiety, were supported. The secondary hypothesis, that demographic factors such as race, gender, class, sexual orientation, nationality, and others will have an impact on both students’ levels of social support and traumatic experiences, thus indirectly influencing levels of depression and anxiety, was true for some identities, but not all. While all demographic factors studied had some significant impact on either trauma or social support, only sexual orientation and gender had a statistically significant impact on Truman Students’ reported levels of anxiety and depression.

Keywords: mental health, depression, anxiety, trauma, social support, social identity, truman state university

Topic(s):Sociology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 311-1
Location: VH 1236
Time: 1:00

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